Kiranavali Vidyasankar is a vocalist, music teacher, and writer. Born into a lineage of Carnatic (South Indian) musicians that includes her legendary grandfather, Gotuvadyam Narayana Iyengar, and father, chitraveena maestro Narasimhan, she has been in the public eye since the age of five, initially in tandem with her brother K.N. Sashikiran and later as a soloist. She is the first musician to be broadcast as both vocalist and exemplar of the chitraveena (a fretless lute) by the national radio and television networks of India. Vidyasankar has performed at India's leading cultural centers, such as the National Centre for Performing Arts (Mumbai), India International Centre (New Delhi), Narada Gana Sabha (Chennai), Brahma Gana Sabha (Chennai), Shanmukhananda Fine Arts (Mumbai), and the Music Academy (Chennai). She is committed to the practice of traditional Carnatic music and to creating new compositions that bring forward-looking innovations to this tradition.
Vidyasankar, a composer, vocalist, and accomplished performer on the chitravina (a 20-stringed slide instrument), will produce a concert that explores the evolving continuum of South Indian musical lineage. The program will feature a group of United States–based Carnatic (South Indian) musicians, and will include traditional repertoire as well as a new composition by Vidyasankar. Collaborating with Vidyasankar will be Texas-based percussionist Poovalur Srinivasan, who hails from a preeminent line of mridangam (South Indian double-headed drum) players. Other guest artists include Anuradha Sridhar (violin); Nirmala Rajasekhar (vina, a fretted string instrument); Prasant Radhakrishnan (saxophone); Raman Kalyan (Indian bamboo flute); N. Muralikrishnan (electronic synthesizer); Ravi Balasubramaniam (ghatam, a clay pot); and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (konnakkol, rhythmic vocalization and kanjira, Indian tambourine). The concert will be presented by Sruti at the Painted Bride Art Center, and broadcast live on the web.
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